The Disney Wilderness Preserve

We have been volunteering here at The Disney Wilderness Preserve for The Nature Conservancy since the end of October. It is going well. In exchange for around 28 hours a week, we get a full hook up RV spot, laundry, WiFi and the use of off road vehicles and tools. We don’t work every week. It is an odd schedule of 2 days on/3 days off, 2 days on/3 days off, 2 days on/9 days off. That way workampers can get away if they choose to explore some of Florida. There are three couples here including Craig and I.

We do work like-keeping the office areas clean, landscaping, answering questions around the small visitor center, checking bathrooms, cleaning garages, maintaining vehicles, sharpening tools, planting, etc. 

Our boss/volunteer coordinator, the other staff and workampers are all great. We have get togethers every week and it has been interesting talking to visitors and workers from NEON, Americorps, Disney, etc.

When Disney built Celebration and Animal Kingdom back in the 90’s, they bought the nearly 12,000 acres here in mitigation. They donated it to The Nature Conservancy to run. It saved the land from developers. The headwaters to the Everglades are here and we see heron, egrets, wood stork, Sandhill cranes, eagle, ospreys, Florida Scrub Jay, Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, alligators, otter, Gopher tortoise, snakes and more every day. We hear coyotes and see raccoon and bobcat tracks too! 

It has been peaceful here, but much less isolated than Yellowstone. We have Publix, Aldi, Walmart, food places, a post office and library five minutes away. We are 40 minutes to Walt Disney World, Universal, Sea World and shopping. We  are less than an hour to downtown Orlando.

We are enjoying volunteering here, but are ready to make some money soon! If you are in the Central Florida area, visit The Disney Wilderness Preserve. Take a nice walk to Lake Russell, one of the last developed lakes in Florida! We will keep you updated on where we head next.

 

 

National Park and Nature Quotes

“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.” -Wallace Stegner

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” -Lyndon B. Johnson

“Wilderness itself is the basis of all our civilization. I wonder if we have enough reverence for life to concede to wilderness the right to live on?” – Margaret (Mardy) Murie

“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.” – Theodore Roosevelt 

“We who are gathered here may represent a particularly elite, not of money and power, but of concern for the earth for the earth’s sake.”- Ansel Adams

“The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.”- Ellen Burns Sherman

“It is imperative to maintain portions of the wilderness untouched so that a tree will rot where it falls, a waterfall will pour its curve without generating electricity, a trumpeter swan may float on uncontaminated water — and moderns may at least see what their ancestors knew in their nerves and blood.”- Bernard De Voto

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”- Sylvia Plath

“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir

“But especially he loved to run in the dim twilight of the summer midnights, listening to the subdued and sleepy murmurs of the forest, reading signs and sounds as a man may read a book, and seeking for the mysterious something that called—called, waking or sleeping, at all times, for him to come.”- Jack London

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”- Edward Abbey

“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”
—Lord Byron